When it comes to owning a dog with the ability to be loving and gentle as well as provide the necessary protection needed in today’s world, you can’t do any better than a Dogue de Boudeaux. Most people have a good idea of the appearance of these large dogs, they just have the wrong breed in mind. The Dogue de Bordeaux is often mistaken for breeds like the mastiff or even oddly enough, bulldogs.
The mastiff comparison makes more sense as these dogs do have large heads in comparison with the rest of their bodies. The Dogue de Bordeaux also has a very distinctive wrinkled appearance to the skin of their faces and heads. With their lazy looking ears and turkey necked skin on their throats these dogs are rather difficult to miss is you look at their heads alone. Moving onto their body structure only sets these powerful dogs even more above the rest.
It has already been mentioned that the Dogue de Bordeaux has a large head in comparison to the rest of the dog’s body. Don’t let that fool you, the bodies of these animals are massive as well. They have enormous feet and tails. You can also expect to see lots of muscle tone and power throughout the chest, abdomen, and legs of these beautiful dogs.
It’s a good thing that such a large dog has such a small coat. The coat of the Dogue de Bordeaux isn’t actually small, but the hair is short and very soft. Interestingly enough some specimens of the Dogue de Bordeaux breed have face masks that can appear red in color, possibly black, or even brown. Depending on the dog organization, some see this mask as the mark of a truly pure bred dog, while others are content to accept animals without the markings on the face.
The history of the Dogue de Bordeaux breed has both its high points as well as its low points. Documentation of these fine animals has been found dating back as far as the 1200’s. they are thought to be a combination of the English mastiffs and local dogs used for protection purposes in France during an English occupation. After their unique beginnings, these dogs were used as guard dogs, herding dogs, and even used during war time to help with the transport of wounded and dead soldiers from the battleground.
Unfortunately because of their tremendous size and powerful bodies, these dogs were also used in dog fights. It wasn’t uncommon for people to pit them against each other or force the Dogue de Bordeaux to fight mastiffs or bulldogs. This ugly practice led to seriously diminished numbers among the breed. Happily, the breed is currently making a wonderful comeback thanks to the efforts of their fans in France.
One of the first things anyone interested in the Dogue de Bordeaux dogs should know is that due to their impressive size and weight, these aren’t the most active dogs. They simply have too much mass to move around to have the energy levels of breeds like labs or terriers. Of course for the owner who wants a large dog without the frustration of constant chaos, these are wonderful dogs to consider.
It isn’t recommended to place Dogue de Bordeaux and other large breeds together. While very gentle by nature, the Dogue will perceive the other big animal as a potential threat and possibly prey. These dogs aren’t anything like this with their human owners and definitely not with children. The Dogue de Bordeaux behaves very well when it comes to kids, employing their natural herding skills to handle the situation.
Some people go out of their way to have the Dogue de Bordeaux in their homes because of their size. Thieves and other criminals don’t want to have any part of such a large dog and these animals can only be described as vicious if their human family is threatened. Otherwise they are pure delights to have around and won’t hurt a soul, though they may frightened the unsuspecting individual.
As with any animal, proper care and vet visits will greatly reduce any health problems the Dogue de Bordeaux may have. One of the biggest concerns for this dog is for the female during the birthing process. As noted, these dogs have unusually large heads and this feature can cause problems for the mother dog should breeding be attempted. The best thing to do is have vet assistance for the delivery.
Like many other mid sized and large dog breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux sometimes has problems with hip dysplasia. A considerate owner will always be on the lookout for stiffness in the joints or a change in how the animal moves.
Once you get the idea, caring for the coat and grooming of the Dogue de Bordeaux is much simpler than many of the other breeds. The one unique aspect of grooming for these dogs though is the face and head. With the various folds and wrinkles, it isn’t unusual for dirt and debris to find its way in those creases. From a very young age, owners need to regularly bath the dog’s face, if not his or her whole body. Starting early also cuts down on grooming battles when your dog outweighs you in adulthood.
The coat of the Dogue de Bordeaux is very short and therefore doesn’t need a bunch of combs or brushes. Using a grooming mitt will do nicely for stimulating the skin and grooming the hair.
The whole exercise thing with the Dogue de Bordeaux couldn’t be easier. These dogs really don’t require much exercise. Adult dogs will likely be happy and content with a walk once or twice a day. Young dogs shouldn’t have much more than that. Actually excessive exercise is dangerous for the Dogue de Bordeaux.
If it’s possible allowing these dogs the space to run and play on their own is acceptable and welcome. Unless the Dogue de Bordeaux encounters an animal as large as they are, it’s unlikely you will have to deal with any dog fights, but it’s best to supervise, just in case.
There are a few basics any dog breed needs when it comes to training and the Dogue de Bordeaux is no exception. Given the enormous size of these dogs, trainer authority and dominance has to be established early. It is also imperative to not use negative tactics when training these gentle giants. They will quickly lose respect for the owner and be unwilling to continue their training.
As a specific breed trainers have to be careful not to become frustrated with the short training sessions the Dogue de Bordeaux demands. They simply don’t have the stamina for long sessions. Any more than an hour is going to tire the dog and cause problems. Due to concern about hip dysplasia, for young dogs focus on basic commands like heel, sit, and lay down, as opposed to physical training or athletic challenges at least until the dog is one year old.
These intelligent, beautiful, and large dogs can be trained to live happily in the home. All it takes is a bit of patience and understanding the specific needs of these dogs.